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A brief guide to reducing violent offending, based on the book. Recommended for policymakers, practitioners, or anyone interested in reducing violent offending.

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About the Book:

Over the past three decades, the American criminal justice system has become unapologetically punitive. High rates of incarceration and frequent use of long-term segregation have become commonplace, with little concern for evidence that such practices make the public safer - and as the editors of this groundbreaking volume assert, they do not.

Bringing together experts in the fields of social science, forensic psychology and criminal justice, Using Social Science to Reduce Violent Offending addresses what truly works in reducing violent offending. Promoting an approach to correctional policy grounded in an evidence-based and nuanced understanding of human behavior, leading authorities from the United States, Canada, and Great Britain offer specific and practical strategies for improving the criminal and juvenile justice systems. Beginning by covering the history and scope of violent crime and incarceration in the U.S., this pioneering volume offers clear and practical recommendations for implementing approaches focused on behavioral change of even the most particular offender groups, such as juvenile offenders, sexual offenders, and offenders with mental illnesses. The authors argue for a more scientifically informed justice system, one where offenders-through correctional approaches such as community-based treatments and cognitive behavioral interventions-can be expected to learn the skills they will need to succeed in avoiding crime upon release. Authors also highlight methods for overcoming system inertia in order to implement these recommendations. Drawing on the science of human behavior to inform correctional practice, this book is an invaluable resource for policymakers, practitioners, mental health and criminal justice professionals, and anyone interested in the science behind the policies surrounding criminal punishment.



Table of Contents:

Part I. Defining the problem: Crime, incarceration, and recidivism in the United States. 

1. Crime and incarceration in the United States. Alfred Blumstein.

2. A short history of corrections: The fall, and resurrection of rehabilitation through

treatment. Clive R. Hollin.


Part II. Targeting contextual contributors to the problem.
3. Contextual influences on violence. David Farrington. 

4. The good, the bad, and the ugly of electronic media. Muniba Saleem and Craig A. Anderson.

5. Public attitudes and punitive policies. Tom R. Tyler and Lindsay E. Rankin.


Part III. Improving our approach to individual offenders.

6. The Risk-Need-Responsivity (RNR) model of correctional assessment and treatment. D. A. Andrews.

7. Assessment and treatment strategies for correctional institutions. Paul Gendreau and Paula Smith.

8. Putting science to work: How the principles of Risk, Need, and Responsivity apply to reentry. Susan Turner and Joan Petersilia.

9. Reducing recidivism and violence among offending youth. Barbara A. Oudekerk and N. Dickon Reppucci.

10. Extending rehabilitative principles to violent sexual offenders. Judith V. Becker and Jill D. Stinson.

11. Extending violence reduction principles to justice-involved persons with mental illness. John Monahan and Henry J. Steadman.


Part IV. A way forward.

12. Addressing system inertia to effect change. James McGuire.

13. What if psychology redesigned the criminal justice system? Joel A. Dvoskin, Jennifer L. Skeem, Raymond W. Novaco, and Kevin S. Douglas.


Joel A. Dvoskin, Ph.D., ABPP is Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Arizona, Tucson and Past President of the American Psychology-Law Society.
Jennifer L. Skeem, Ph.D. is Professor of Social Welfare, University of California, Berkeley.
Raymond W. Novaco, Ph.D. is Professor of Psychology and Social Behavior, University of California, Irvine.
Kevin S. Douglas, Ph.D., LL.B. is Associate Professor of Psychology, Simon Fraser University.